What Does Revelation Mean? A Biblical Definition of Revelation
Instead, scholars understand that Revelation originally spoke to the conditions of its own time and place. It offered a specific group of first century Christians not only hope for the future but also an interpretation — a “revelation” — of the world they inhabited. A brief definition of revelation is: A Message of Knowledge is God or the Lord Jesus Christ providing to you information, insight, and understanding about something. A Message of Wisdom is God or the Lord Jesus Christ providing to you direction, or how to apply the knowledge you have about something.
When we come to the book of Revelation, we come to one of, if not the hardest book of the Bible to read and interpret. Revelation contains a compelling message of faithfulness to Christ amid the spiritual war against Satan and sin as the people of God wait for the Second Coming of Christ.
The book of Revelation unveils the spiritual war in which the Church of Jesus is engaged; that cosmic conflict between God with Jesus Christ and Satan with his evil allies demonic and human. In this conflict, the Lamb of God Jesus has already won the decisive victory through His finished and sufficient work on the cross. The Church today continues to be assaulted by Satan, the dragon, in its death-roes through persecution, false teaching, and the allure of material affluence and cultural approval.
He also affirms the certainty of the triumph of Christ in the New Heavens and Earth, those visions which both warn the Church and fortify it to endure suffering, and to purify it from the defiling enticements of the present world order. Revelation opens with a prologue Revelationa bodyand an epilogue The prologue and epilogue are linked by an angel sent to show the servants of the What does revelation mean to christians what must soon take place Revelation ; The body of Revelation contains four series of seven messages or visions: Letters to churches Revelationseals on a scrolltrumpetsand bowls of wrath Revelation In RevelationJohn portrays the defeat of the dragon in its desire to destroy the child of the heavenly woman Revelationfollowed by her flight for safety into the wilderness Revelation Earlier visions sometimes portray later events, and later visions describe earlier conditions.
Revelation shows the how to download games on psp internet of the earth and sky so that the stars are cast to earth by a great wind.
Then, in RevelationJohn explains the angels restraining the winds of woe until the people of God are sealed. Still, later, John how to determine serving sizes the sun, moon, and stars in the sky and only partially darkened Revelation In Revelation, recapitulation means that the order in which John received visions does not necessarily indicate the order of the events that they symbolize.
The key to reading Revelation is to have a consistent understanding and application of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the art and science of biblical interpretation.
A normal hermeneutic means that unless the Bible passage under consideration clearly indicates that the author was using figurative language, it should be interpreted normally.
The clarity of Scripture teaches us that all Scripture is given by God and therefore is sufficient and authoritative for the people of God. When applied what does revelation mean to christians our hermeneutic, this means that the meaning of the biblical text is to be understood as it is written normally. Revelation is full of colorful descriptions of visions which proclaim the last days before the return of Christ and the ushering in of the New Heavens and New Earth.
The book of Revelation is full of prophecies that find their fulfillment about the end times rooted in the Old Testament. The mention of the antichrist mentioned in Daniel is developed fully in Revelation.
Other examples of this include DanielIsaiahEzekieland Zechariahwhich contain prophecies that find their fulfillment in Revelation. John uses the technique of symbolism from the start of his letter to the end how to download the source code of a website Revelation. Instead of portraying characters and events directly, John describes them indirectly by means of symbols.
Jesus is described as a lamb, and churches are represented as lamps on lampstands, and Satan is pictured as a dragon with seven heads and 10 horns. The symbols are sometimes familiar and sometimes original and strange.
Whenever a work of literature presents a bunch of symbols instead of realistic details, readers should recognize the technique of symbolic reality, meaning that as they enter the work in their imaginations, information is presented primarily through symbols. The Book of Revelation is one of the most sustained examples of symbolic reality in existence. The main interpretative question is what do the symbols refer to?
One cannot go wrong by relating the strange symbolic details to familiar New Testament how to get rid of salt stains on suede boots of the end times, including the following:. The death and resurrection of Jesus changed the course of the history of the world.
The return of Jesus will bring about as dramatic of a change in the history of man. History is not moving about willy-nilly in the mind of God. History is moving forward to the glorious conclusion of Christ returning and establishing His Kingdom forever and always. Revelation tells the glorious story of the return of Christ and is vital for Christians to read and study, so they grow in their understanding of the person and work of Christ and the end of history.
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The Book of Revelation Revelation opens with a prologue Revelationa bodyand an epilogue What Is the Millennial Kingdom and Reign? What Is the Day of the Lord? Today on Christianity.
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God Reveals Himself
What is Revelation? Revelation is not:. What someone learns from reading the Bible. When the Bible was originally given, it was revelation to that individual who then wrote it down.
When a person reads it, he learns, but that type of learning is not revelation. It is available, however, for God to give someone revelation about what the Bible says so he can understand it clearly. What someone feels very strongly about. This is as true for doctrine as it is for personal feelings and opinions.
What someone knows from his five senses seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Revelation is: Information that is revealed to someone by a spiritual source. That source can be either good God or Jesus , or it can be evil the Devil or demons. These categories are:. All revelation will fall into one of these categories because revelation is either knowledge or wisdom.
However, the revelation itself, the information, does not have to come via a manifestation, it could come via phenomenon.
God often gives revelation by sight, or a feeling, etc. A brief definition of revelation is:. A Message of Knowledge is God or the Lord Jesus Christ providing to you information, insight, and understanding about something. A Message of Wisdom is God or the Lord Jesus Christ providing to you direction, or how to apply the knowledge you have about something.
When God gives a revelation message to someone, that one message may contain both of the above categories. For example, when God gives a message of knowledge i. If there is no message of wisdom, it usually means what to do is clear from either the Word of God or from natural wisdom based on the physical universe, the five senses world. When a person receives a message for another by revelation which is prophecy when spoken , and because revelation is either a message of knowledge or a message of wisdom, the prophecy will also be one or more of those—a message of knowledge or a message of wisdom.
How Revelation Comes to Individuals Revelation, information from the spiritual world, is given to people in many different ways. Direct communication. For example, God, Jesus, an angel, the Devil, or a demon, can appear to, or speak directly with, an individual.
Communication from God or Jesus via holy spirit. God or the Lord Jesus communicates with the person via holy spirit, which indwells and fills him Num. Communication from a demon inhabiting the person. Communication from others who have received revelation. Genuine prophets and indeed, in the Administration of Grace, any believer, can receive revelation and communicate it to others Acts , and False prophets hear from the demonic side of the spiritual world and communicate that revelation to people.
Communication via something in the physical world. Things that occur in the physical realm can sometimes have a spiritual source and communicate a message. The difficulty of determining the source of something in the physical world can be seen in an example from history, as recorded in Ezekiel. Nebuchadnezzar cast lots with arrows, consulted idols, and looked at animal livers to try to discern what he should do Ezek. If the arrows fell and pointed toward Jerusalem, why?
What was the cause or source? Sometimes much prayer, wisdom, and counsel is needed to understand the actual cause of something in the physical world. Below are some examples from Scripture of the three possible sources when something occurs in the physical world. Divination includes things such as reading tarot cards, crystal balls, palms, and tea leaves. Using a Ouija Board is divination, as is examining animal innards Ezek.
All divination is an abomination to God because it is getting information from His archenemy, the Devil Deut. Astrology is another form of divination.
God set the stars in place to tell us about Him and His plan, but astrology perverts that, turns it completely around, and says the stars tell us about ourselves. Not everything that happens is caused by a spiritual source. God designed the physical universe to run by physical laws, and most of the time those laws operate without the intervention of a spiritual source.
Although godly or demonic spirits can influence our physical world, much of the time they do not. For example, if your family is playing Monopoly, it is likely that neither God nor demons are influencing the role of the dice; instead, the laws of physics are at work. Why did the dice come up a nine instead of a three? Why did the toast fall jelly side down on the floor and not jelly side up? These things happen as a result of physical laws, but who can ferret through all the laws and variables?
Solomon told the king of Tyre that he was so blessed by God that his kingdom had rest. The Philistines had been struck by plagues after capturing the ark of God. At the time of the New Birth salvation , the man of body and soul becomes a three-part man of body, soul, and holy spirit 1 Thess.
The holy spirit created inside the person fills him completely, and is in touch with every fiber of his being, both physical and mental. Once a person has holy spirit, God or the Lord Jesus Christ can speak to him via that holy spirit inside him. The principle of how revelation works might be charted as follows:.
Once we understand that revelation usually comes as a thought or feeling we can understand why practice is so essential if we are going to reliably discern revelation from the Lord from our own thoughts and feelings. The Seven Distinct Ways Revelation Comes to an Individual The two categories of revelation—a message of knowledge and a message of wisdom are given in seven distinctive ways.
An individual gets information from the Lord the same way he gathers information from the world around him. When the Lord gives a person a vision, sound, smell, etc.
Other people around him are not experiencing what he is. It was as real to him as his natural sight. Nevertheless, it was a revelation vision via the gift of holy spirit, and the others who were with Stephen did not see it. When the Lord gives revelation smell, the one receiving the revelation will smell something because the olfactory center of the brain is receiving communication from the Lord via holy spirit, but other people, even if nearby, will not smell anything. Once we understand that revelation i.
Receiving revelation works the same basic way in all seven of the ways God gives it. Because revelation information comes via the brain like the information of other thoughts and experiences, most revelation requires developing a sensitivity to it to recognize it consistently.
Revelation given via holy spirit is usually a very quick experience. It is for that reason we must become practiced in receiving revelation from the Lord. A person usually has to be quiet, peaceful, and focused to hear the voice of the Lord.
Neither God nor Jesus are interested in competing with the static produced by our lack of desire and discipline. God tells us to seek Him first in our lives, and He means what He says. The Bible has many examples of revelation via seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or knowing.
We will give an example in each category:. Only the one receiving the revelation will smell it. There must have been other revelation for Jesus to know exactly what kind of demon, and that he should cast it out. One of the ingredients of the stew was an unknown gourd v. Furthermore, there is nothing in the verse that indicates the food even tasted bad. Occasionally people eat poisonous mushrooms and get sick or die because deadly food does not always taste bad.
In this case, it was a message of knowledge by revelation taste. The prophets did not need a message of wisdom. Jeremiah would have felt this revelation touch as clearly as if someone next to him had touched him. The knowledge is not specifically discernible by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. Although not all emotion, even all godly emotion, is from the Lord, Christians should be aware that emotion can be the result of his working in them via the gift of holy spirit.
Emotion is very important in the life of a godly Christian, and it can happen that God can give us an emotion via revelation, or augment an emotion we already have. Sometimes the message clearly comes from God, sometimes clearly from Jesus, and sometimes it is unclear as to whether the source is God or Jesus. Scripture makes it clear that they work together. Many verses speak of the grace of God, but Jesus also sends grace Rom. There are no verses dictating whether a person will hear from God, Jesus, or both, and no verses stating that we Christians should feel more comfortable talking to God, Jesus, or both.
God and Jesus are both individuals, and each seeks fellowship with Christians. It is up to each of us to develop our own personal relationship with God and the Lord Jesus, just as it is up to us to develop friendships in the physical world. Because prophecy is the communication of a message received by revelation, it follows that all prophecy also falls into the categories of a message of knowledge and a message of wisdom.
The following example is the prophecy of Samuel to Saul, and it is labeled to show that God does indeed speak in these categories. A study of the prophecies in the Bible will give you a much better understanding of the way God gives information via prophecy. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine [MK].
As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying [MK]. Note that in this personal prophecy Samuel gave to Saul, there is an intermixing of a message of knowledge information, insight, and understanding from God , with a message of wisdom direction; what God wants you to do or how God wants you to apply knowledge.